Sie sind hier: Startseite Lehrstuhl Kortmann … Publications Essentials

English Linguistics: Essentials

Table of Contents

About the author

Book orders

View the Preface

 View sample text


Now available as e-book here



This 300-page paperback is the revised, updated and moderately enlarged English edition of Linguistik:Essentials, a very successful (and most positively reviewed) textbook used in many English language and linguistics departments in Germany since its first publication in 1999 (currently in the 4th print run). The German edition, by the way, will continue to be available.


The book has grown out of 15 years teaching experience with students of English linguistics at all levels. Primarily addressed to a student audience, it has also found many readers among school teachers of English wanting to (re-)connect with the essentials and latest developments in linguistics. University students have found the German edition a very useful companion all through their academic studies as it combines the essentials of the core branches of linguistics with an account of the state of the art at the beginning of the 21st century. At many English departments in Germany, it is used as a standard textbook in introductory classes to linguistics. However, advanced undergraduates, especially those approaching their exams in linguistics, graduates enrolled in Masters programmes in linguistics as well as student tutors and teaching assistants (TAs) have found (and will surely continue to find) this book equally helpful. Part of the reason why this book has appealed to so many students is the reader-friendly layout with many mnemonic devices in the text, the large number of survey figures and tables, and, for each chapter, checklists with the key terms, exercises for revision and questions for further study (with an answer key for the former). The exercises and study questions, in particular, are extremely useful for self-study. The book uses standard terminology familiar from internationally widely used textbooks in individual linguistic subdisciplines.


Originally written for a German-speaking audience, English Linguistics: Essentials addresses an international readership. In the scene-setting Chapter I, the reader is introduced to the major dichotomies and research traditions of 20th century linguistics (structuralism, formalism, functionalism), recent developments in the field, such as corpus linguistics and the renewed interest in – including innovative approaches to – historical linguistics, and a brief evaluation of the state of (English) linguistics at the turn of the 21st century. The following chapters deal with the core branches of linguistics in the following order: phonetics and phonology, morphology (especially word-formation), grammar, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics. One chapter is specifically concerned with the structure of English from a contrastive (English-German) and typological perspective. This chapter can be profitably read even by readers whose knowledge of German is rudimentary or non-existent since it places contrastive linguistics within the other branches of comparative linguistics, adopting a specifically typological perspective, and discusses bundles of distinctive structural properties of English not addressed elsewhere in the book.


If you want to learn more about the book, feel free to  go immediately to the publishers’ online-shop. Since all the information in the online-shop is given in German only, it may be advisable to order the book via Amazon (ISBN: 3-464-31162-7). Please contact the publishers directly if you are interested in an inspection copy. English Linguistics: Essentials is exclusively published as a paperback, selling at a student-friendly price of 13,95 Euro.